Dr Muhammad Khan
As reported by Rifat Fareed of Al Jazeera, on February 2, 2018, five Kashmiri youth were killed by Indian security forces in Ganawpora area of Shopian District just for nothing. 19-year-old Javaid Ahmad Bhat, a big cricket fan was killed while he was returning after playing the cricket, peacefully. The other youth of shopian were killed by Indian Army, since they were pelting stone on Indian Army vehicles, what a licence of killing, the brutal Indian Army has to kill Kashmiri youth. Later, the IOK police said that, they “have registered a case against the army for killing civilians.” But, Indian Army and paramilitary forces have impunity, indeed a licence to kill the innocent and unarmed Kashmiris, who can resort to stone pelting the maximum.
Two weeks earlier, three Kashmir youth were killed in RS Pura and its surrounding areas. The people of Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK) are so much scared that, no one knows who is going to be fired upon at what time. As per a local of RS Pura, “The situation has been very bad for last few days. The sound of (gun fire) scares everyone, we don’t know who it is going to hit.” Earlier, the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported on January 27, 2018 that, “Today two youth were killed and one wounded” by Indian Army. In last three weeks Indian security forces have killed over 39 Kashmiri youth in various parts of IOK. Some of these Kashmiri youth are taken into custody under the provisions of Public Safety Act and Armed Forces Special Power Act and then tortured and killed. Some of them are taken to LoC and killed in fake encounters, showing them as militants, trying to enter IOK through AJK. The firing along LoC by Indian Army is done to justify killing of these or vice versa. Indeed, as a campaign there is a mass killing of Kashmiri youth by Indian Army. These youth are determined for their freedom from Indian occupation and their love for Pakistan.
From the realist’s perspective, there are two most distinguished characteristics of the current wave of Kashmiri movement against Indian occupation in IOK. First; the Kashmiri youth has taken over the entire freedom movement in their hand ever since the cold blooded murder of Burhan Wani, a social media activist killed by Indian Army on July 8, 2018. Second, the Kashmir youth have clearly identified Pakistan as their destination. Unlike 1980s and 1990s, where there were two stances among the Kashmiri masses; accession to Pakistan and independence of the state, the on-going phase is a delineated and distinguished by Pro-Pakistan stance. Kashmiri youth dress like Pakistan, begin their sports and academic activities with Pakistani National Anthem and according to the Pakistani standard time.
For this dedicated love with Pakistan, the Kashmir youth are paying a very heavy price in term of their lives, continued brutalities at the hands of Indian security forces, unemployment, social and state discrimination and above all a continuous Indian occupation. Chanting the pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans by the Kashmiri youth have alarmed the Indian security forces so much that, they have started arresting the isolated youth and ask them to raise slogan against Pakistan under duress while beating them constantly to do so. Indian military and its RSS led Government is ignoring the facts on ground and trying to mislead the world through brutalising the Kashmiri youth.
The people like former Chief Minister of IOK, Dr Farooq Abdullah and former External Affairs Minister, Yaswant Sinha have tried warned India that, ‘India is losing Kashmir’ and Kashmiri youth are thinking very differently about the Indian occupation its repression. Earlier in 2016, Dr Farooq Abdullah expressed the love of Kashmiris with Pakistan in a statement saying, “Here in Kashmir people love Pakistan. Even if you (New Delhi) will throw all your treasuries open for them, you can’t take away the sentiment from their hearts. So, what can Farooq Abdullah do in this regard?” In fact, Kashmiri students of National Institute of Technology (NIT), Srinagar have revolted against Indian occupation by showing a dedicated love for Pakistan and hate for India. Mr Abdullah also alarmed New Delhi by saying, “The more Kashmiris are suppressed, the more their love for Pakistan will grow. New Delhi thinks that by offering lucrative packages they can buy Kashmiris and erode the sentiment but it will not happen. Kashmiris will take the package but won’t change a bit. New Delhi always boasts of providing liberal economic packages, but in reality took away whatever we owned.”
Indeed, there are serious issues of human security in IOK. The basic right to live, survive, cherish and prosper in life is for every human being and is explicitly guaranteed in the international law. Nevertheless, despite the passage of seven decades, people of the IOK are waiting for their right of self-determination, promised by United Nations. The provision of human rights and security are categorically stated both in international law and in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The basic provision of the international law is that; “individuals should not be arbitrarily deprived of their lives, and homicide should be deterred, prevented and punished.” These rights are further secured and protected by the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights-1948’.
Kashmir holds the key for peace between Pakistan and India and peace between these two neighbours would guarantee peace and stability of South Asia, which further guarantee the international peace, owing to nuclear dimension of the dispute. Pakistan and the people of Kashmir strongly realise that, wars and conflicts are not the solution of Kashmir dispute as nothing came out from the previous wars. Killing Kashmiri youth for their demand of right of self-determination, freedom from Indian occupation and above all for their love with Pakistan is not the solution. The more India kills Kashmiris, the more they love Pakistan. As a way forward, India must stop human rights violation in IOK and negotiate with Pakistan a viable solution of this long-standing dispute in line with UN resolutions. Nonetheless, as a CBM, India must stop the genocide of Kashmiri youth; being practiced as a strategy of General Bipan Rawat, the Indian Army Chief.
— The writer, Professor of Politics and International Relations, is based in Islamabad.
Dr Muhammad Khan